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Campaign against genital mutilation installs giant clitoris in Brussels city centre
In the run-up to the international day against female genital mutilation (FGM) on Sunday 6 February, a giant clitoris dominated the Place de la Monnaie in Brussels for several hours on Friday.
By displaying the five-metre-high inflatable organ, the Belgian Group for the Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation (GAMS Belgium) wanted to draw attention to the issue of female circumcision, in which the clitoris is removed.
In the presence of the Brussels alderwoman for equal opportunities, Lydia Mutyebele Ngoi, and alderwoman for culture and major events, Delphine Houba, representatives of GAMS were on hand to provide passers-by with information on the practice of female genital mutilation and the clitoris itself. Although often presented as an external organ the size of a pea, the clitoris is largely located internally and measures eight to twelve centimetres.
"This organ of female pleasure has been hidden in anatomical books for centuries,” Fabienne Richard, director of GAMS Belgium, explained. “Even now, this fear of female pleasure is being used to control women in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia through genital mutilation, which was still used in Europe until the 20th century to treat hysteria and onanism."
According to Richard, 200 million women in the world have been genitally mutilated and 6,000 to 8,000 girls are mutilated every day.
GAMS also wanted to highlight the work carried out by two centres in Belgium that offer clitoral reconstruction in the Saint-Pierre hospital in Brussels and the University Hospital in Ghent.
With the hashtag #MeetYourClit, GAMS Belgium encouraged passers-by to take a photo with the giant clitoris and post it on social media. The inflatable was displayed in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on International Women's Day (8 March) last year and will next travel to Amsterdam.